MSA WELCOMES THE CALL FOR MASS ACTIONS TO OPPOSE THE REOPENING OF LEKKI TOLL GATES
- CALLS ON THE TRADE UNIONS FOR A SOLIDARITY STRIKE ACTION
We of the Movement for A Socialist Alternative (MSA) welcome the call for a return to mass actions to oppose the repossession by Lekki Concession Company (LCC) of the Lekki Toll Gates, and its reopening to continue the exploitation of commuters, when the judicial panel of enquiry into the Oct 20, 2020 killings and massacre at the Lekki Toll Gates is yet to complete its task. Clearly, a truly independent enquiry cannot in anyway clear the LCC of non-involvement or connivance as far as the October 20 is concerned.
The ploy to reopen the Toll-gate is based on a purported order granted by the Retired Justice Doris Okuwobi-led faction of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry into SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters on 6th day of February 2021. It will be recalled that a five-member faction of the Panel led by the Chairperson of the Panel, Retired Justice Okuwobi granted an application by the Lekki Concession Company to repossess the Lekki Toll Gates for assessment of insurance claims, renovation, repairs and resumption of tolling business.
This was despite the opposition to the application by counsel to the #EndSARS protesters led by Adesina Ogunlana, because the Panel was not properly constituted in terms of forming a quorum, as the pre-condition of the presence of a youth representative in the panel was not fulfilled. Also, the application for the reopening of the Lekki Toll Gates is premature as the investigation into the Lekki Shooting Matter has not been concluded.
However, the Chairperson of the Judicial Panel overruled the objections raised by the #EndSARS Protesters that it has not formed a quorum based on its past ruling on a similar incident when the youth representatives boycotted the Panel at a time their Bank accounts were restricted by a Central Bank order; the tribunal adjourned based on the premise that it could not proceed without a representative of the youths.
We commend the courage of the Ebunoluwa Adegboruwa SAN-led faction of 4 members made up of the two youth representatives, Olorunrinu Oduala (popularly known as Rinu) and Temitope Majekodunmi as well as Patience Udoh Esq. and Ebunoluwa Adegboruwa SAN (representatives of Civil Society) who gave their respective written and oral dissenting opinions. In their respective rulings, they submitted that the purported Ruling of the “Majority” Faction led by the Chairperson of the Panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (Retired) ordering the repossession of the Lekki Toll Gates by the Lekki Concession Company is illegal as the proper quorum was not constituted by the Panel in delivering the Ruling as the youth representatives were absent.
They also respectively ruled that the application for the repossession of the Lekki Toll Gates upon the blood of innocent citizens, while the investigation into the Lekki Shooting Matter is yet to be concluded is insensitive, callous and totally uncharitable to the memories of the dead. They also submitted that Lagos State Government, who has been summoned by the Panel is yet to appear and announced that the Forensic Report is not yet concluded.
We are of firm agreement with the Ruling of the Ebunoluwa Adegboruwa –led faction that even in law, the said order is totally illegal. However, we are quick to warn that without mass actions built to stop this illegal order, the state will deploy its force of violence again to force on the people its interest of milking ordinary Lagosians at the Lekki Toll Gates. We consider the ruling of the panel and the desperation to reopen the tollgate for business as fresh insults to the memory of the dead when the investigation into the Lekki shooting is still incomplete.
While it is only mass action that can reverse this injustice, there is a need for proper discussion about the best approach to resume the struggle to avoid the pitfalls that attended the past protests. In this vein we acknowledge and back the call to #OccupyLekkiTollGate, as only a mass action of the people can reverse the sheer injustice that has been meted on Nigerians. But there is need for democratically-controlled action committees of workers and young people in the communities and workplaces to discuss and arrive at what to do next in every stage of struggle ahead.
The layers of youth willing to return to the barricades must also be prepared to canvass and embrace the solidarity of the working class and their organizations as well as other oppressed sections of society, irrespective of their age-group, in this new episode of the struggle. Appeals must be made to organizations of both formal and informal working-class people, to the NLC and TUC, and as well in the transport and commodities sectors in the prosecution of the struggle. Rank-and-file pressure must be built up from below on the top bureaucrats of the labour movement to side with oppressed youth and workers in the days of battles ahead.
The MSA stands for a scientific revolutionary working-class strategy of building a mass movement of workers and youth from below to throw overboard the entire capitalist ruling elite and the anti-poor capitalist system they represent. We call for the building of a mass democratically-run working people’s political movement to accomplish this task.
We call for and support the following demands:
- TOTAL NO TO RETURN OF LEKKI TOLL GATES! WE WON’T PAY! WE CAN’T PAY!! SCRAP THE LEKKI TOLL GATES IN ITS ENTIRETY!!!
- REVERSE THE REPOSSESSION OF THE LEKKI TOLL GATES BY THE LEKKI CONCESSION COMPANY!
- FOR THE NATIONALISATION OF THE LEKKI CONCESION COMPANY & AND THE TAKE OVER OF THE LEKKI TOLL GATES, WITHOUT PAYMENT OF ANY COMPENSATION
- FOR A REVISIT TO THE CONCESSION AGREEMENT TO THE LCC, AND AUDIT OF ALL ACTIVITIES TILL DATE, WITH THE AIM OF AN OUTRIGHT CANCELLATION AND A REFUND INTO THE COFFERS OF GOVERNMENT OF OVERPAYMENT TO A THRID PARTY.
- FOR AN INDEPENDENT, BROAD-BASED, SCIENTIFIC AND FORENSIC INVESTIGATION INTO THE LEKKI SHOOTING MATTER AND THE IMMEDIATE TRIAL AND PERSECUTION OF ALL SO INDICTED IN THE KILLINGS AND MASSARCE OF 20 OCT. 2020.
- GOVERNOR SANWO-OLU, BABATUNDE FASHOLA AND NIGERIAN ARMY OFFICERS MUST APPEAR BEFORE THE JUDICIAL PANEL OF INQUIRY!
- COMPENSATION FOR VICTIMS AND FAMILY MEMBERS OF THE LEKKI SHOOTING, #ENDSARS PROTESTERS, AND POLICE BRUTALITY AND ALL CITIZENS PREJUDICIAL MURDERED BY ORGANS OF THE STATE.
- END ALL FORMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY AND KILLINGS!
- FOR A DEMOCRATICALLY-RUN, RANK-AND-FILE POLICE UNION TO PUSH FOR BETTER WELFARE CONDITIONS FOR RANK-AND-FILE OF THE POLICE!
- FOR A DEMOCRATICALLY-RUN TRADE UNION FOR THE RANK-AND-FILE OF THE ARMED FORCES!
- SOLIDARITY OF RANK-AND-FILE OF ARMED FORCES AND POLICE WITH OPPRESSED WORKERS AND YOUTH!
- FOR THE TRADE UNIONS, NLC & TUC TO TAKE UP AN OPEN CAMPAIGN FOR TRADE UNION RIGHTS FOR THE RANK AND FILE OF THE POLICE & THE ARMED FORCES
- FOR A 48 HOUR WARNING GENERAL STRIKE CALLED BY THE TRADE UNIONS IN SOLIDARITY WITH ALL VICTIMS OF POLICE BRUTALITY AND THE DEMAND FOR JUSTICE AND COMPENSATION
- FOR AN INDEPENDENT WORKING PEOPLE POLITICAL PARTY THAT WILL ORGANISE THE WORKING MASSES, TO CHALLENGE THE RULING ELITES, AND END THE RULE OF CAPITALIST POLITICIANS
- FOR THE NATIONALISATION OF THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS OF THE ECONOMY UNDER THE DEMOCRATIC CONTROLL AND MANAGEMENT OF A WORKING PEOPLE & POOR FARMERS’ GOVERNMENT